My dog has soft pads which tear and split easily, is there anything I can do to toughen them up?

He seems to have very delicate pads and easily damages them, hes recently got splits in them also and I want to know if theres anything I can do to make them harder and improve the horn(hair) growth to make them stronger?

Asked by Member 699176 on Aug 12th 2008 Tagged paws, pads, health in Health & Wellness
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • This question is closed.

Best Answer


I am assuming that you have checked with the VET and got a confirmation that this is NOT health related problem. If so, here is info you might find useful:

"If your dog's pads are particularly soft and prone to cracking, wait until they have healed and every so often (on a healthy paw) dab on surgical spirit with a wad of cotton wool.. This will harden them up. Doing this about three times a week should do the trick.
- For sore cracked pads, boil up some potato peel and use the water when cool to immerse the paw. The pad will heal in a couple of days.
- Trim out as much of the hair between the pads as possible and dust with an anti-fungal powder.
*The following link talks all about paw problems:

We use Musher's Secret balm for Ki-Kis' paws to protect from harshly hot pavements of - Houston. It works as a great protection from cold and ice, too.
* Read about it @:

Ki-Ki answered on Aug 12th.

Other Answers



Besides walking or hiking in small amounts and building up to the distance you want...we have a 85lbs dog who LOVES to climb and sometimes roughs up his big paws. We got him some booties from REI that seem to be able to withstand most terrains but still allow him to run and play while building up some resistance in his paws and we don't have to bandage his foot all the time!

Member 623383 answered on 8/12/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You could massage his pads regularly with some sheabutter, I think. This moisturizes the skin, making it more supple and resistant.

But I would also go to the vet for a checkup, because dogs that have diabetes often have very sensitive pads. This doesn't mean your dog is definitely diabetic (he's probably not, if you don't notice any other symptoms), but you want to be sure.

Member 656446 answered on 8/12/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


How often do you walk him? If your dog only runs around the house, he is going to have soft pads. Walking out doors will toughen up the pads and develop calluses so your dog's pads will have resistence. Are his pads bleeding? What do you mean when you say that they are easily damaged? It is not uncommon for dogs to have cracks or splits (small, of course) in their pads. Using lotion will actuall soften the pads more, and only cause your dog to lick his pads, which will not make them tougher. Try getting him outside more. Do you have a treadmill? I live in AZ and in the summer it is sometimes too hot to take the dogs walking outside, so I use a treadmill often. This also will help toughen their pads because of the tread. If you do walk him often, and this still is a problem, it wouldn't hurt to have your vet check his little feet out.

Wallace answered on 8/12/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer